The second project I used my Shaper Trace with was a CNC grandson's name sign. I previously created a granddaughter's name sign using Trace, but the two kids are brother and sister and are only one year apart. If you have kids or grandkids, doing a project for one rather than the other does not go well with kids.
The grandson project was equally as easy:
Using Shaper Trace for my Grandson's Name Sign
I once again asked my six-year-old grandson to write his name on an 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper. I also asked him to fill out the entire sheet. His name was almost half as many characters as his sister's, so he had fewer problems with spacing and the size of each letter.
His resulting drawing looked great:
I already saw a different kind of challenge for the Tracer web app. I expected the overlapping lines in the letters "O" and "N" to present some challenges.
Like his sister's, the right-most character was close to the edge of the paper. I had to slightly shift the sheet of paper to the left for Trace to capture all the letters.
The Shaper Trace web app captured all of the letters easily. I chose to use the outline option for the vector creation. With the vectors now created, I pressed the blue button with a checkmark to save the file.
The easiest way to copy the new vector file from the Trace app to your desktop PC is by using your Shaper Tools account. They provide cloud storage, which integrates with all their digital tools.
After pressing the blue button, a list of options displays where to save the file. The "Save to Shaper My Files" is your account's cloud storage. So this is the option I selected.
Once the Trace app has saved your vector file to your cloud storage, it's now easy to download to your desktop PC to use with your CNC software.
Log in to your Shaper Tools account, navigate to your files, and click on the download option. The download process prompts you where to save the new SVG file. It's a clean, straightforward process.
Vectric Aspire and the Grandson Name Sign Vectors
Once the new vector file was downloaded to my PC, importing it into Vectric Aspire was the next step. I created a new project and centered the newly created vectors. I drew a rectangle around them to define the profile toolpath for the finished sign.
The first thing I do with new vectors is use the Vector Validator function within Aspire. It checks all vectors for any issues that could cause problems when generating tool paths. The vector validator did not find any issues.
The image below shows areas where I expected problems. The intersections of the different parts in the letter "K" were nicely created for v-carving. There were no intersections.
The same could be seen with the lines overlapped between the "N" and the "O." Likewise, the line intersections in the letter "X" had been formatted perfectly for v-carving.
CNC Machining the New Name Sign
The only task remaining was to create CNC toolpaths for the new sign. I planned on using a 30-degree v-bit for the name vectors. To cut the name sign out, I would use a .25-inch endmill.
The CNC machining process was short and straightforward. My grandson watched while the machine was at work.
I used a router table to give the edges a slight round-over. It then took a little sanding and some Minwax polycrylic satin spray to complete the project.
I am very impressed with this second Shaper Trace project. The Trace tool continues to be easy to use.